Usagi Drop – 11 (Finale)

One of the hardest parts about watching a finale is that moment immediately following the end.  At that point, the anime is complete.  But you don’t always feel the same way.  And for a series like this with half of its material still ahead, it shouldn’t really feel complete either.  It’s finales like these, where you know it is not the true end, that are some of the hardest to deal with.

Yeah, unfortunately for us, Usagi Drop is over.  But the story doesn’t end there as it’s been well established that there’s another half of the manga yet to be covered.  Sometime in the future, the only uncertainty is when, there’ll be another anime of Usagi Drop to continue where this left off and end the story with a true finale.  But for now, that’s it.  Our time spent with Daikichi and Rin, watching the two grow up together as a family, has been extremely quick and equally meaningful and rewarding.  It’s these reasons why adjusting from ‘watching’ to ‘completed’ is sometimes difficult.

Another reason could be the lack of climax in the finale.  Usually stories save the best for last, such as brawling with the final boss, a couple realizing their love, or a mission finally being accomplished.  These zeniths that produce memorable endings can be found in any story of any medium throughout the history of mankind and become the expected norm whenever a finale approaches.  But Usagi Drop never had a moment like that, where you can point to the peak of the story.  It was rather constant throughout, with forgiving hills and easy valleys, never toying with the tension like an action or romance anime would.  Instead, it felt like another day in the life of Daikichi and Rin.  A deviation from the norm, for sure, but a proper way to conclude this anime.

The main reason why I find the finale to Usagi Drop to be appropriate is that there are no major climaxes in parenting and family life.  The anime ended without any remarkable moments in Rin or Daikichi’s life, just another couple of lessons for both and continuing on their lives together like it’s no big deal.  The series never needed a climax in the story.  It’s a phenomenal slice-of-life anime that reproduces realistic interactions between characters and their situations.  It’s similar to real life.  Sure, there are highs and lows and accomplishments and regrets in everyone’s life, but nothing to write a novel about.  Their life is the story.  Their life is this story.  And it’s fitting for it to end without any significant climax.  Seeing Daikichi and Rin walked hand-in-hand down the road was a beautiful and meaningful way to conclude this anime.  And while I just spend the better half of two paragraphs arguing that this is a suitable finale for Usagi Drop, it was not enough to satisfy my craving for this series.

Perhaps I’m a bit spoiled since I know there is more material after that final scene but I want more now.  It’s tempting to just pick up the manga where the anime dropped us off but I’ve made a habit to never follow that compulsion, otherwise I’d be following half-a-hundred manga with several piling on each season, not the mention all the new anime, too.  So I and virtually everyone else are stuck waiting for the second season of Usagi Drop when we get to see the continuation of Daikichi and Rin together.  But the wait is problematic with no specific date in place.  I’m sure everyone would love to just continue where this episode ended but, unfortunately, this is it for us now.  A shame.  That’s always one of the problems with an anime, especially for one like this where you just want to keep going but can’t.  Well, there’s always the manga out there if you want to bite and finish the series through its original medium.  But it’s just a tad different.  And I feel it’s different enough, just different enough, that it wouldn’t satisfy my craving in just the right way.  There’s just something about anime that we all love and that’s why we continue to watch it whenever possible.  So let’s hope there’s a return to Usagi Drop soon since I, and I’m sure many others, agree that it just can’t be complete right now.

Kinda sad to not see Haruko and Reina in the finale.  Those two had an interesting side of parenting since they seemed to be the only ones who ever dealt with any serious hardship or conflict.  With Haruko having that breakdown due to her husband’s treatment of her and taking Reina away to Daikichi’s home was one of my favorite episodes.  It really provided a new perspective on Haruko and Reina, showing us that not everything was rosy and fine on her end and showing an inconceivable level of maturity and cuteness in Reina.  I’d love to have some follow-up on their situation but I’m afraid we won’t get to see it.  I assume everything ended alright with those two and Reina’s father but I wished we saw the end result through Daikichi’s eyes like we saw rest of the series.  Oh well, it is a story about Daikichi and Rin, so it’s acceptable not to show it if the characters never followed-up themselves on that situation.

Additionally, I wanted to see something more with Masako.  Our last time spent with her was immediately following the one with Haruko and Reina, where Masako witnessed a growing Rin pay her respects to Souichi’s grave.  I loved the whirlwind of emotions expressed by her in those scenes, especially considering her stoic and unintelligent personality in virtually every other scene of hers.  It was the most significant point of growth for her character and I wanted to see how it changed her.  We saw her talk to her boyfriend about it, how she was going to succeed but nothing more than that.  I figured she meant for her to convince herself that she made the right choice in becoming a manga artist rather than a mother, with her full of astonishment, regret, and speculation in that moment.  I’d like to see her do well as a manga artist, so that her foolish (my opinion) decision to abandon Rin does not devour her from within, but I’d also like to see her mature and become an adult.  Masako was one of the characters that I became fascinated with in this series, evident by all my posts about her, so it should come as no surprise that I wished we saw more of her before the finale.  Then again, I wish we saw more of everyone in Usagi Drop, especially Souichi (thought Rin would have some more memories to share), but it’s tough when there are only 11 episodes and all of them are fantastic.  Well, until we meet again, Daikichi and Rin!

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  1. #1 by Will of the Wisps on September 16, 2011 - 5:28 PM

    If you enjoyed it this much, I would recommend you read My Girl (Mizuru). It is about similar themes and is equally, if not more, touching.

    • #2 by avvesione on September 18, 2011 - 12:14 AM

      More touching than Usagi Drop? I’ll do some research into it since this is the first time I’ve heard about it, but if it’s similar to Usagi Drop, then I should like it. Thanks for the recommendation.

  2. #3 by zammael on September 17, 2011 - 8:19 AM

    I too enjoyed it, and I wasn’t hoping for a classic climax to the series, for that would come off as another contrived literary artifice when the entire series had little to do with one.

    Will there be a second season, if (since?) the manga continues past this point?

    • #4 by avvesione on September 18, 2011 - 12:17 AM

      I can almost guarantee a second season, although I seem to always say that without any proof or inside knowledge. But with roughly half the manga still untouched and a strong and positive reception, I fail to see it not having a second season. It won’t be any time soon since the noitaminA shows for Autumn and Winter have already been selected, so Spring or Summer seems reasonable to expect. The sequel would likely continue on the noitaminA timeslot, too.

  1. Final Notes of Usagi Drop Episode 11 | Organization Anti Social Geniuses

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